Three Minute Thesis 

Three Minute Thesis is a fast-paced research communication competition. Originally developed by The University of Queensland in 2008, it has now been widely adopted at universities around the world.

The exercise challenges master’s and doctoral students to present a compelling talk on their thesis/dissertation topic and its significance. Many theses and dissertations can be over 80,000 words and take hours to present, but students in this competition have just three minutes and one slide to convey their often highly-technical research to a lay audience.  

Judging criteria is centered on three core competencies:

  • Communication style: Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Comprehension: Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: Did the oration make the audience want to know more?

View former VCU 3MT® Competition participants' presentations on VCU Scholars Compass.

Students interested in competing in VCU's 2023 Three Minute Thesis can register for the event using this form.


2022 VCU 3MT® Competition Winners

First place:
Sara Abudahab, Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science - Ph.D.
Aging and the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor in the Regulation of Drug Metabolism

Second place: 
Elizabeth Leggett, Physiology - Ph.D.
The Role of Tau at the Synapse in a Model of Alzheimer's Disease

Third place:
Shomeek Chowdhury, Integrative Life Sciences - Ph.D.
Do Protein-enzyme Interactions Affect Metabolism?

People's choice award (audience vote):
Akua Donkor, Medicinal Chemistry - Ph.D.
Elucidating the Molecular Basis of A. Tumefaciens Signal Perception that Causes Crown Gall Diseases